Flight - 1 night
Ulan Bator - 2 nights
South Gobi - 1 night
Khongoryn Els - 1 night
South Gobi - 1 night
Gun Galuut - 2 nights
Ulan Bator - 4 nights

The Lands of Genghis Khan - Naadam Festival

An exploration of Mongolia from Ulan Bator to the Gobi Desert and the UNESCO listed Orkhon Valley, experiencing nomadic lifestyle and with the chance to witness a Mongolian festival

The Mongolia of today, slowly opening up to the outside world, is an independent state, half the size of India and sandwiched between the superpowers of China and Russia. The country is home to a mere three million people, making this the sovereign state with the lowest population density in the world. 30% of the population are nomadic and 8% of Mongolian men can claim direct descent from Genghis Khan.

Once a stronghold of Buddhism, its religion was severely repressed with the arrival of the Communists in the 1920s. Mongolia nonetheless embarked on democratic reform in 1990 and the subsequent liberalisation has allowed its peaceful revival with more than 140 monasteries being set up anew. First recorded by the Chinese during the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD), the Mongols remained a loose confederation of rival clans until the late 12th century when a 20-year old named Temujin emerged and united most of the tribes against Russia and China. In 1189 he was given the honorary name Genghis Khan (Universal King).

This special tour follows a similar itinerary and includes an extended stay in Ulan Bator during the Naadam Festival. The festival celebrates the ‘three games of men’ which are wrestling, archery and horse racing. Witness the grand opening ceremony, wrestling, archery and horse racing competitions and award ceremonies.

Key Features

Culture & Natural Wonders
Jules Verne Sightseeing
UNESCO Site: Orkhon Valley
Local Expert Guide

Special Event

Dashchoilin Monastery

A lecture about philosophy and Buddhism in Mongolia by a local monk.

Day 1 Fly overnight via Istanbul to Ulan Bator.

Day 2 Transfer to 4-star Holiday Inn Ulan Bator for two nights. Welcome dinner and traditional folklore concert. (B, D)

Day 3 Tour of Ulan Bator including the Genghis Khan Monument, the National Museum of Mongolia for an understanding of Mongolia’s past and present and Gandan Monastery, Mongolia’s largest Buddhist monastery. Lecture by a monk at Dashchoilin Monastery. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Fly to the Gobi Desert for overnight at Gobi Nomad Lodge in South Gobi. View the Khavtsgait Petroglyphs, dating back to 3000–8000 BC, at Boginiin Khyar ridge. Drive to the ancient rock formation of the red Bayanzag Flaming Cliffs. Learn how gers are assembled. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Drive to the Khongor Sand Dunes (4–5 hrs). Enjoy a walk and be amazed by the sound of the wind whipping through the sand. Visit to a nomadic camel breeder family’s ger and a short camel ride. Overnight at Gobi Erdene camp. (B, L, D)

Day 6
Return to Gobi Nomad Lodge for overnight (4–5 hrs). Drive to the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park for a hike. (B, L, D)

Day 7 Morning flight to Ulan Bator and travel to Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve. Visit the Giant Genghis Monument complex. Spend two nights at the Steppe Nomads camp. Enjoy a traditional Mongolian ‘Khorkhog’ dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 8 Visit a nomadic family and learn about their daily life. Enjoy the reserve with opportunities for horse riding, fishing, hiking or kayaking (bookable locally). (B, L, D)

Day 9 Drive to 13th century complex and explore various camps, farms, statues, and traditional entertainment areas all in real lifestyle of the 13th century era. Enjoy craftsmen at work, see Mongolian calligraphy, learn to write Mongolian traditional scripts and meeting with nomads. Return to Ulan Bator to Holiday Inn for four nights. (B, L, D)

Day 10 Drive west to visit the Mongol Nomadic camp and enjoy a show portraying the 19th century nomadic lifestyle. Continue to Hustai National Park to try and spot the endangered Takhi wild horses. (B, L ,D)

Day 11 Witness the grand opening ceremony of Naadam festival that consists of a colourful parade, enjoy the music and dances, as well as a speech by the President of Mongolia. Watch the first round of wrestling, archery and shooting competitions at the Central Stadium. Visit Bogd Khan Museum, the former Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan followed by the Buddha Park and Zaisan memorial hill. (B, L, D)

Day 12 Drive to Khui Doloon Hudag field for the horse racing competition. Return to the central stadium for the final rounds of wrestling and award ceremonies. (B, L, D)

Day 13 Return flight via Istanbul. (B)

  • Key
  • B - Breakfast
  • L - Lunch
  • D - Dinner


This is an active itinerary. A reasonable level of fitness is required.
Accommodation outside Ulan Bator is in simple but charming tourist camps. Facilities include single beds, heating, private western style shower/toilet facilities and a restaurant/ bar.
This is an adventurous tour using 4-wheel drive mini-vans in the Gobi Desert. There are virtually no roads in the desert area and the terrain can best be described as demanding, the few roads that are paved can be bumpy and cracked due to the extreme Mongolian climate.
Luggage on internal flights is limited to 15kgs.


per person in a twin room/ger
Turkish Airlines from Heathrow

Date Price
July 1 £5485

Supplements per person

Single Supplement

Single supplement £645

Flight Options

Aeroflot Business Class from £1345

Extension Options

Extension - Ulan Bator 
Holiday Inn Ulan Bator
(per night) £80
Single supplement £55

Tour Only

Save £1000
Arrival or departure transfer add £45

Price Includes
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 11 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 10 lunches and 11 dinners, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.

Not Included
Travel insurance, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.

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The Lands of Genghis Khan - Festival Departure

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